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Do you ever feel like you're working so hard to save money, but it's just not sticking? You may be trying to do too much at once. Automating your finances can help make saving easier and more effective. Here are five ways to put build up your savings painlessly.
"Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it." Proverbs 13:11
Build Savings Into Your Budget
Make a personal budget by starting with that. Take a look at what you earn each month to see how much money you have set aside. Now list your steady costs, such as rent, car payments, and utilities. Determine how much money you'll need every month for necessities like food and other items. This is your basic budget. It's helpful to use budgeting software or an app to make this process easier.
Now that you have your basic budget, you need to account for your savings goals. Begin with fixed costs like retirement savings and emergency funds. Then add other goals, such as saving for a down payment on a house or a new car. Fit these into your budget by cutting back on other expenses. For example, if you want to save $50 per month for a new car, you'll need to find $50 in other places to cut from your budget.
You may need to make some sacrifices to reach your savings goals. But remember, these are temporary changes that will help you achieve your long-term financial goals.
Set Up Automatic Transfers To Your Savings Account
One of the easiest ways to automate your finances is to set up a savings account that you don't touch. This can be done through your bank or even with a specific app like STASH, or Acorns. Once it's set up, you can have a certain amount of money automatically transferred from your checking account to your savings account every month. This way, you're never even tempted to spend it because it's not readily available.
Don't forget to check your savings periodically. Take another look at your budget. Is there something you can do to increase your savings? Taking any extra money, such as birthday cash, tax refund, bonuses, etc., and putting it straight into the account is a wonderful method to quickly boost your savings account. You won't even miss the money, but it'll be there when you need it.
Make sure your money is in an interest-bearing account. Because you won't be using this cash until it's a really serious emergency, you should be able to earn at least a little interest in it. Find out what the best options are for you and get your savings on autopilot by talking with your bank.
Another type of self-sustaining savings is your employer's 401k program. Inquire with your employer or human resources department about matching 401K contributions. You might be able to receive a corporate match for your retirement savings account as well.
Earn Some Extra Money
If you're looking for creative ways to make extra money, there are plenty of options out there. You could take online surveys, start a side hustle or rent out a room in your house.
Taking online surveys is a great way to make a little bit of extra money each month. There are several different survey companies out there, such as Survey Junkie and Swagbucks, that will pay you for your opinion. It's a great way to make some extra cash each month without having to put in a lot of effort.
If you're looking for something that will make a little bit more money, you could start a side hustle. This could be something as simple as becoming a Dasher with Door Dash or other food delivery services, starting a blog, or becoming a freelance writer. If you're handy, you could even start a small business doing odd jobs for people in your community. There are endless possibilities when it comes to side hustles.
Another option is to rent out a room in your house. This is a great way to make some extra money if you have an extra room that you're not using. You could list your room on Airbnb or a similar site and start earning money from visitors who come to stay with you.
Avoid Unnecessary Expenses and Pay Off Debt
Evaluating your spending habits is the first step to saving money. Take a look at your bank statements and see where you're spending the most money. Are you eating out a lot? Buying new clothes all the time? These are areas where you can cut back and save some money. Remember that Budget we talked about earlier? Don't forget to stick to it!
Making a plan to pay off your debt is another important step to take if you want to save money and avoid unnecessary spending. Figure out how much debt you have and make a plan to pay it off as quickly as possible. You'd be surprised how much you could be wasting on interest each month by only making the minimum payments. Use a Debt Calculator to see how much you could be saving on interest. Utilize this to help you make a Debt Snowball Plan. Once your debts are paid this will free up more money each month that you can put into savings.
Save Your Spare Change
This one is a bit old-fashioned, but it still works like a charm. Whenever you have cash on hand, put the spare change into a jar. Once the jar is full, deposit it into your savings account. This method may not seem like much, but it can add up over time. And it's a painless way to save money.
Start A Savings Challenge
If you're looking for a little bit of motivation, start a savings challenge. There are tons of different ones to choose from, so you're sure to find one that fits your lifestyle and needs. The 52-week challenge is a popular one. You start by saving $1 the first week, $2 the second week, and so on. By the end of the year, you'll have saved over $1300.
Another option is the 30-day money challenge. This one has you save a certain amount of money each day for 30 days. The amount you save gradually increases each day. So, on day one you'd save $1, on day two you'd save $2, and so on. By the end of the month, you'll have saved over $450.
Both of these challenges are great options to help boost your savings. And they're both pretty painless.
Celebrate your Accomplishments
Make sure to celebrate your accomplishments! This can often be overlooked but saving money is a big accomplishment and it's important to reward yourself for your hard work. Maybe you can treat yourself to a new piece of clothing or take a trip somewhere you've been wanting to go (if it's in your budget of course). Whatever you do, make sure to pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
It doesn't have to be difficult to save money. It can be quite simple if you set up your finances in a systematic way. Follow the ideas above to increase your savings. You'll be amazed at how quickly your funds will build up.